The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

GOP "Filibuster Hypocrisy"


is editor of, a reader-supported investigative
webpage. He recently wrote the piece "The GOP's Filibuster Hypocrisy,"
which states: "Though seemingly forgotten by most TV talking heads, it
was only three years ago, when the Republicans had control of both the
White House and Congress -- and 'filibuster' was a dirty word.

"It was usually coupled with 'obstructionist' amid demands that
any of George W. Bush's proposals deserved 'an up-or-down vote.'

"Yet now, with the Democrats holding the White House and Congress,
the Republicans and the Washington press corps have come to view the
filibuster fondly, as a valued American tradition, a time-honored part
of a healthy legislative process.

"Today, it's seen as a good thing that Democrats must muster 60 votes in the Senate to pass almost anything."

Parry's latest piece is "The GOP's Jihad on Obama." His books
include "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush,"
written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat. Parry broke many of the
Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.
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and chair of the government department at Suffolk University in Boston,
Berg is author of "Unequal Struggle: Class, Gender, Race and Power in
the U.S. Congress." He said today: "The filibuster is an undemocratic
relic. During the '50s and '60s, the filibuster was used by racists to
block civil rights laws, and so no one used it for years after that.
Then, some anti-war senators like Wayne Morse used it, but only in
limited circumstances. It wasn't used frequently until Bob Dole used it
constantly during the Clinton presidency.

"There ought to be a way whereby a strong point can be made by a
few, but a determined majority can ultimately work its will. Part of
the problem now is that a filibuster used to be a real filibuster,
senators actually had to make speeches, or at least read out of the
phone book -- they'd bring out the mattresses. Now, the minority party
just says they're doing a filibuster on an issue and everyone acts like
that means they have to move to other business."
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